June 20-26, 2002
This week the Israeli occupying forces escalated their war against the Palestinian people in an unprecedented manner. They invaded and seized control over large areas of Palestinian land in the West Bank and declared their intention to remain there for a long period, until completing the establishment of ‘the security wall’ between the West Bank and the Green Line. In the meanwhile, the Israeli government declared the mobilization of its reserve forces, and called on officers of the ‘civil administration’ for service, indicating that Israeli occupying forces may move back to the situation that preceded the signing of the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993. Furthermore, the Israeli prime minister declared that his troops would initiate a war against armed organizations in the Gaza Strip, without defining the nature of such war.
Under the continuous international conspiracy of silence, Israeli occupying forces perpetrated more violations against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). This week, Israeli forces encroached into more Palestinian areas, killing a number of Palestinians and destroying several public and private facilities. 25 Palestinians, including 20 civilians, were killed by Israeli occupying forces this week.
The Israeli Government said that it would deploy a series of measures aimed at escalating the attacks against the Palestinians people and their properties. These measures have been implemented by reoccupying most of the West Bank and announcing that the Israeli Occupying Forces would stay there for a longer period of time. Israeli occupying forces killed a number of Palestinians, destroyed public and private properties and arrested many. They deprived 10000s of Palestinian students of attending the exams of the general secondary certificate (Tawjihi), which began on 17 June.
In a continuation of the assassination policy officially adopted by the Israeli government against Palestinian activists and political leaders, on Monday 24 June, Israeli occupying forces assassinated six Palestinians, including three brothers. Two of the killed were apparently wanted by the Israeli occupying forces; the others killed in the operation were innocent civilians. The operation took place in al-Joneina neighborhood in Rafah in the south of the Gaza strip. An Israeli apache helicopter fired two missiles against a taxi carrying five passengers. When hit, the taxi was only about 500 m from Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital. The shelling completely destroyed the car, all five passengers were killed. In addition, other cars driving in the area, were hit by big pieces of shrapnel and another Palestinian civilian was killed. Moreover, 13 other bystanders were injured.
On Friday, 21 June, Israeli occupying forces indiscriminately fired at Palestinian laborers working in ‘Erez’ industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip, in an attempt to target a suspected a person. Two laborers and the suspected person were killed. On Wednesday, 26 June, Israeli forces fired at Palestinian laborers in the same area, wounding three.
Jewish settlers, under full protection of Israeli occupying forces, continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians in the OPT. On Friday, 21 June, armed settlers attacked Burin village, south of Nablus. They broke doors and windows of houses and opened fire indiscriminately before the eyes of Israeli occupying forces. A settler fired at a Palestinian civilian killing him with a live bullet in the heart.
This week, Israeli occupying forces razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in the Gaza Strip. They also demolished five houses in Rafah, some of them totally.
Israeli occupying forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT in a collective punishment of the Palestinian people. Israeli forces have separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces have maintained a strict siege on al-Mawasi area, isolating it from the rest of the strip.
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